- CAPA Analysis
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The passenger air transportation sector in Russia can be characterised by significant competition. Aeroflot is majority owned by the Russian Government and is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation. The three major airports serving Moscow are Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO), Domodedovo International Airport (DME) and Vnukovo International Airport (VKO). Aeroflot dominates the domestic passenger market in Russia, however other airlines also provide frequent national and international services and they include S7 Airlines, UTair Aviation as well as VIM Airlines and Nordavia. The Federal Agency for Air Transport of Russia is the government agency that is responsible for rendering governmental services and managing governmental property in the sphere of air transport (civil aviation) and the usage of air space over the Russian Federation.
Airports in Russian Federation
74 total articles
Ukraine: traffic recovery prompts Ryanair to join Wizz Air in LCC growth. Ukraine Int'l also expands
Two announcements by leading LCCs in quick succession may mark a significant development in Ukraine's aviation market. One came on 13-Mar-2016 from Wizz Air, the largest low cost airline in Eastern/Central Europe; the other on 15-Mar-2016 from Ryanair, the largest LCC (and largest airline) in all Europe.
Both expect opportunity in Ukraine's very low levels of air travel and low LCC seat share. Wizz Air, already Ukraine's leading low cost airline, will add four more new routes in summer 2017, to the four previously announced. Ryanair will enter Ukraine with 11 routes, adding competitive tension to the emerging low fares market there. The battle between the two for supremacy in Eastern/Central Europe opens up a new front.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's air traffic levels are enjoying a recovery from the slump of 2014 and 2015 caused by major geopolitical disruption and a severe recession. Passenger numbers jumped 21% in 2016.
The country's flag carrier and biggest airline, Ukraine International Airlines, has taken part in the traffic growth, but will need to ensure it can do this profitably after a period of losses. Risks remain, but the conditions are in place for further growth in Ukraine's air traffic.
In recent years, the Aeroflot Group has undergone a significant transformation. From 2009 to 2016 the group's passenger numbers increased fourfold, its load factor improved by 11.3ppts and its revenue grew almost five times.
During this time the group's structure has moved from one of non integrated subsidiary airlines to a clearly focused multi brand approach targeting different market segments. The Aeroflot Group has also refocused its fleet strategy, reducing the number of aircraft types from 18 in 2011 to seven in 2016.
Some measure of the success of Aeroflot's transformation, beyond the obvious growth in scale, can be seen from its improved financial results. In 2016 it reported record profits, in spite of a second successive year of a shrinking economy in Russia. These results were helped by lower fuel prices and by currency movements, but Aeroflot Group's operating margin of 12.8% was better than those of other major European legacy airline groups.
Aeroflot's achievements also owe much to the government directed consolidation of the Russian market in recent years. Indeed, the Russian government's influence has long been a guiding force in Aeroflot's development.
The UTair Aviation Group includes both a rotary wing (helicopter) division and a fixed wing (passenger airline) division. UTair's strategic goals for its passenger transportation division include maintaining third position and a market share of at least 10% in the domestic market; and a fleet modernisation programme through the purchase of new short and medium haul aircraft.
The passenger airline UTair Aviation achieved a 19% increase in passenger numbers in the first 11 months of 2016, after a period of capacity and traffic reduction and financial restructuring. The airline carried 5.5 million passengers in 2015, making it Russia's third biggest airline after Aeroflot and S7 Airlines, while the group carried 8.8 million passengers. UTair has orders to replace a significant proportion of its ageing fleet of aircraft (average age 19 years), but delivery dates are currently fluid.
Moscow Vnukovo is UTair's biggest airport, from where it serves mainly the domestic market. It is the biggest single airline by seats at Vnukovo, but it is outranked by the combined capacity of the Aeroflot Group's three airlines at the airport, Aeroflot, Pobeda and Rossiya. It also faces competition from Aeroflot and/or Pobeda on almost all of its biggest routes from Moscow.
Two years on from its Dec-2014 launch Aeroflot's LCC subsidiary Pobeda is firmly established as the fifth largest airline in Russia by seats, with a 6.8% share in the domestic market (week of 19-Dec-2016, source: OAG). Bucking the trend of declining traffic in the Russian market – which is being dragged down by falling international demand – Pobeda is growing rapidly.
Although still strongly domestically focused, the Moscow Vnukovo-based airline commenced international operations in Feb-2016 and will have launched 12 international routes during the course of 2016.
On a city pair basis, 23 of the 41 Pobeda routes in 2016 are not operated by other Aeroflot Group airlines. There are 17 Moscow routes (and one from Saint Petersburg) flown by both Pobeda and Aeroflot from different airports. An important part of the Aeroflot Group's multi-brand strategy, Pobeda is the only LCC in Russia and has stimulated demand among price-sensitive passengers in point-to-point markets.
This report on the Global Airport Development Conference held in Lisbon on 29-Nov to 01-Dec-2016 covers the proceedings of Day 2 of the event.
The Global Airport Development (GAD World) conference was held in Lisbon, between 29-Nov and 01-Dec-2016. This CAPA report chronicles the presentations and debates that took place on the first two days, including selected ‘stream’ sessions on both days.
There was, inevitably, a political overlay to the event, with the (Jun-2016) UK referendum on continuing membership of the European Union (‘Brexit’), the (Nov-2016) election of President Trump in the US and associated ‘uncertainty’ dominating events.
Otherwise, the concern was, as always, the ‘pipeline’ of airport privatisation details, or rather the lack of them, while the hope was for the continuation of the trend towards PPP deals.